£35,690 - £46,725 Price range
37 - 57 MPG
There’s no denying that the A5 Cabriolet is one of the more desirable drop-tops on the market – its badge and looks alone would tempt many people to part with their cash for it.
Thankfully, the Audi isn’t just a pretty face, as many critics seem to be impressed with the car’s refinement, its ease of use and the well-rounded engines on offer.
However, the svelte styling and comfortable interior does conceal a few rough edges here and there, mostly around the ride and handling side of things.
That said, there are plenty of reviewers happy that the A5 Cabriolet is a decent choice if you want a stylish, comfortable and economical mile-muncher. But is it the right car for you? Read on and find out, and don’t forget to take a look at our handy Audi A5 Cabriolet dimensions guide too…
As you’d expect from an Audi, especially one that can be seen by all once the roof is removed, the interior is amongst one of the best in its class.
All the materials are of high quality, and the controls are easy to use, even if some of the buttons are a bit fiddly. Reassuringly, everything feels like it’ll last long after it reaches the end of the car’s working life.
Space inside for passengers is fairly good for a car of this type, and as long as the people up front aren’t too tall, adults can fit in the back. However, if you select the optional wind-deflector , the rear seats become redundant when the roof is down.
The boot is also surprisingly big for a convertible, with 320 litres available roof down, and 380 when it’s up.
Critics tend to agree that the A5 Cabriolet is a cruiser at heart, so it’s no real surprise that it excels under more relaxed driving conditions, and becomes less enjoyable if you try to hustle it down a B-road.
Over most surfaces, the ride is quite composed, and the fabric roof does a very good job at insulating out intrusive noises, especially so with the “Acoustic Hood” option selected.
However, it’s by no means the most engaging car in its class to drive, and the testers have noted that the ride quality can be quite poor on the higher spec S line models, especially those that have the larger alloy wheels.
All models suffer from a little bit of body flex and scuttle shake, and the higher powered front wheel drive models can suffer from torque steer, where the steering wheel wriggles when you accelerate hard.
The A5 Cabriolet shares all of the engines it has with the car’s tin-top cousins, so there’s bound to be one that’ll cater for your needs.
There’s a whole range of petrols and diesels to choose from, ranging from a tiny little 1.8 turbo right up to the slightly insane V8 available in the S5 variant.
Most critics reckon that, if outright speed isn’t a primary concern, the 2.0-litre diesel in 177hp form is the best all-rounder in the range, as it suits the car’s more relaxed qualities, can still provide some oomph when required and returns 56mpg.
Those who’d rather listen to a petrol engine and wanting good economy can opt for the 1.8-litre turbo-charged version that has just under 170hp and can still do 45mpg.
With 182bhp on tap to shift nearly 1.7 tons worth of car, this spec of A5 Cabriolet was never going to appeal to speed addicts. However, it’s still enough to make the Audi brisk enough, the low down slug of torque makes getting up to speed relatively effortless, and the motor’s smoothness and refinement means it’s quite capable during cruises.
Fuel economy is, as you’d expect from an diesel car, very good – as part of the recent facelift, Audi claims up to 60mpg is possible on the combined cycle, and the low CO2 emissions mean it only costs £90 a year to tax. Both testers also reckon it’s quite good to drive, with one report even stating it’s a more enjoyable steer than the flagship S5!
Overall, the 2.0 TDI A5 Cabriolet is a very good all-round car that has plenty of positive attributes, and it’s no surprise that Audi reckon it’ll be the most popular model. Those wanting a bit more power and performance will most likely want to look elsewhere, but if you’re in the market for an efficient and classy drop-top cruiser, it’s certainly worth short-listing.
Most of the reports suggest that the 2.0 petrol engine works surprisingly well in such a car – the testers agree that it’s smooth and refined unit with plenty of twist across the rev range, and that it works incredibly well with the optional ‘S-Tronic’ automatic gearbox. Fuel economy also isn’t too bad for a car of this type, with claimed figures of 44mpg on the combined cycle.
Overall, if you must have petrol power in your A5 Cabriolet, then the 2.0 TFSI model is certainly worth considering, especially with the optional auto ‘box. However, we’re more inclined to recommend the 2.0 diesel model, as it’s just as capable at cruising duties yet is cheaper to buy and run.
The tester had plenty of good things to say about the diesel motor – when compared with the 2.7 engine it replaces, the new unit is noticeably smoother and more refined than the unit it replaces. The critic also thought it was quite entertaining when you start ramping up the speed – not only is it surprisingly eager to rev for a diesel, but the meaty power and torque figures makes it just as quick as the 2.0 petrol model, yet is cheaper to run thanks to the claimed 51 mpg.
However, the tester did have some problems with it – the asking price for even the most basic model with this engine is a bit steep, and the stiffer suspension that comes with the S-Line trim seems to undermine the car’s capabilities as a cruiser, with reports of a jittery ride and a noticeable amount of body rattle.
Overall, if you want a good compromise between performance and efficiency and are willing to fork out a fair amount of money, then this spec of A5 Cabriolet may appeal to you – there are more efficient engines in the range, but they’re also noticeably slower and are a bit dull to drive in comparison.
However, we reckon the S-Line trim is, like with some other Audis, simply not worth paying extra for, especially as it affects the car’s abilities as a comfortable and relaxing cruiser.
Most of the testers had hardly any complaints regarding the car’s drivetrain. The Quattro four-wheel drive system provides good grip in the corners should you want to hustle the A5 along a bit, the transmissions (even the Multitronic CVT) seem to suit the car’s calmer character, and the diesel motor is punchy across the rev range yet refined and fairly economical –despite being a bit of a porker, Audi claims up to 47 mpg is possible on the combined cycle.
There were, however, some notable downsides to the car – a few critics reckon that the ride can get a bit crashy and lumpy at times, especially when the car is fitted with the larger wheels and stiffer springs that come with the S-Line trim. Quite a few also had issues with the fairly steep asking price.
Overall, if you want an A5 Cabrio with the real-world performance of the flagship S5 but without the high running costs that come with it, then the 3.0 TDI model may appeal to you. However, we’re more inclined to recommend the smaller and less powerful engines in the range, as they’re noticeably cheaper to buy and run.
A new addition as part of the recent mid-life facelift, the 3.0 V6 appears to be quite a good one. It may be slightly down on power when compared with the S5 (which, coincidentally, uses pretty much the same engine), but the 272bhp output and the wide torque band means it’s by no means a slouch.
However, it’s just as useful under more sensible driving conditions, as the engine is quite a refined one and works incredibly well with the standard-fit seven speed automatic. It’s also, for its size, quite a frugal car – the claimed 33mpg is surprisingly good for a supercharged 1.7 ton luxo-barge.
There are, though, a few key problems with the car – it’s a tad on the pricey side, and the critic reckoned that, despite the chassis and suspension tweaks that came with the facelift, the A5 Cabrio isn’t the sharpest car in its class to drive, with complaints of a juddery ride and a noticeable amount of body flex.
Overall, the 3.0 TFSI model does have its merits, and is worth considering if you can’t quite afford the flagship S5 yet don’t want to sacrifice too much performance. However, we’d also recommend looking at the more affordable and efficient yet equally capable engines in the range as well.
Though the cars featured in the reviews were pre-facelift, the changes made were mostly cosmetic, so very little under the skin was actually modified. Thankfully, that means you get a slightly more powerful 3.0 V6 with 333bhp and a fairly wide torque band, which permits a 0-60 sprint of 5.6 seconds and a top speed of 155mph. However, when you’re not thrashing it, it’s smooth and civilised, and works well with the gearbox whether in automatic or manual modes.
Quite a few reckoned that, for a large cabrio that weighs in at nearly two tons, the handling and body control was quite good, with very little roll in corners, fairly sharp steering and good grip thanks to the Quattro four-wheel drive system. However, it’s by no means the last word in dynamic prowess, and a few critics thought the ride was a bit jittery, even on smoother surfaces.
Overall, the S5 Cabriolet is a very well-engineered car, and it’s no surprise that one critic dubbed it the “baby Bentley” – for such a porky car, it handles and goes very well indeed, yet can also excel as a boulevardier when you’re not in the mood for ‘spirited driving’.
Those wanting a sharper steer may want to hold out for the inevitable 3 Series Convertible, but if you can afford such a car, there aren’t many rivals in the price range that can deliver a knock-out blow to the S5.
The Audi A5 Cabriolet shares parts with the A4, which was awarded five stars in Euro NCAP crash tests, so anyone concerned about safety should find that reassuring.
With a cabriolet, concerns are normally around the safety of occupants in the event of the car rolling over. The A5 Cabriolet has a system uses sensors to pop up metal bars behind the rear seats when it detects a roll over is likely.
The A5 Cabriolet has other technology available on top of the usual airbags and stability control you would expect to find, such as cruise control that keeps the car’s distance from traffic in front, and a lane assist system that warns the driver if their position on the motorway becomes erratic.
It’s also worth considering Audi’s all-wheel-drive system, available on high spec versions, which should help maintain grip on slippery surfaces and in the more potent 3.0-litre petrol and diesel models.
However, the starting price will get you a very basic model, and you will have to fork out a fair bit of cash in order to get the more prestigious models in the range; a 2.0-litre S Line model comes in at a little under £37,000.
The vast array of options and extra equipment on offer means that these prices can rocket up even more if you were a bit careless.
All cars come with stop/start technology to make them more economical and cleaner, climate control and an auto-opening boot as standard, so even basic models have a good equipment list, and residuals are expected to be good.
Overall, the Audi A5 Cabriolet is a decent car that does a decent job at being a relaxed open-top cruiser.
Critics conclude that most of the time it’s a desirable, comfortable and refined cruiser that goes fairly well, even if the handling and ride could be better, and diesel powered versions should prove fairly cheap to run for a premium convertible.
It’s by no means the best big drop-top on the market, and the car’s dynamic qualities most likely won’t appeal to people who would prefer a sharper and more engaging drive, but you could argue that the appeal of its badge and design may be enough to negate that.
There is certainly plenty of appeal in the Audi’s laid-back approach to things, and the A5 Cabriolet is certainly worth considering if you’re in the market for such a car.
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